Biological sex must now be protected in education

Jul 1, 2021 by

by Carys Moseley, Christian Concern:

The recent Employment Appeal Tribunal judgment in favour of Maya Forstater has implications for the workplace in general, and specifically for education.

The judgment protected gender-critical beliefs, i.e. that sex is biological and immutable, as ‘worth of respect in a democratic society’. Roger Kiska from the Christian Legal Centre provided a detailed analysis of the judgment which can be read here. In this article I want to focus on one implication of the judgment, which is how it affects teaching about biological sex in schools.

Guidance by the Department for Education in England already states that school staff must not convey to children that they might be ‘born in the wrong body’. The Forstater case clearly helps all teachers and school staff, as well as groups going into schools, to uphold this principle.

Sex is immutable

The judgment refers approvingly of the case of Corbett v Corbett. This is a well-known case at the High Court regarding the divorce of the male-to-female transsexual April Ashley by his husband in 1973. Presiding Judge Ormerod acknowledged the scientific evidence, which is that sex is based on chromosomes and is ‘fixed at birth’. Here is what Justice Choudhary said about it in the case of Maya Forstater:

“It was further submitted that although many might disagree with the proposition that sex is binary and that gender identity is a social construct, that is what the law of the land currently states: Corbett v Corbett; Elan-Cane v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2018]1 WLR 5119.”

The Forstater judgment found that Corbett v Corbett was more important than the Gender Recognition Act in defining sex. Section 9 of the Gender Recognition Act says possession of a Gender Recognition Certificate means ‘the person’s gender becomes for all purposes the acquired gender’ – which is not ‘sex at birth’.

Read here

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